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Ahearn leads Missouri St. past Wisc.-Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- Blake Ahearn scored 18 points and Nathan Bilyeu had
16 to lead Missouri State to a 72-63 victory over
Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Saturday.

The Bears (18-7) won their third straight game and sixth of
their last seven outings.

The contest was one of 13 BracketBusters games ESPN televised to
provide national exposure to mid-major teams that have a chance at
making the NCAA Tournament.

The Panthers lost their second straight game and fourth of their
last six to fall to 18-8.

Joah Tucker had 12 points and Chris Hill 11 to lead Milwaukee.
Boo Davis, Jason McCoy and Avery Smith each added 10.

The Panthers were without starting forward Adrian Tigert, who
hurt his back a week ago in Milwaukee's 86-57 victory over
Cleveland State. He was averaging 12.7 points and 7.4 rebounds.

The Bears were on top by 11 points at 52-41 with 11:01 left
after a pair of free throws by Bilyeu.

The Panthers, though, battled back to within 63-60 on a basket
by McCoy with 1:06 left. On the next possession, Bilyeu was fouled
and made two free throws for a five-point Missouri State lead with
55 seconds left. Milwaukee never got that close again.

The Bears led 34-28 at halftime.

Sky Frazier's layup with 15:32 left to play in the first half
put Missouri State on top for good in the period at 7-6. Missouri
State's biggest lead was eight points.